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Discussion Starter #1
I have a TON of boards that are the perfect depth for making medium frame boxes. I want to make medium frame swarm traps, but I'm not sure how many frames wide I should make them. Thoughts?

If anyone has experience with this, please let me know!
 

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Why make a bait box? Just make them the same size as the supers you use with a thin top and bottom, then they can double as supers. I attach the top and bottom with straps with a round hole drilled in the top for the entrance.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks guys. I want to keep my supers for supering, but I suppose I could do that. I just don't want to spend any more money this year after dropping 5K last year. The bleeding has to stop for a while. I just remembered that I had all those boards...enough to make anything I could need for a couple of years. I really hope that swarm trapping works. I need to get my colony numbers up to the 25 range and maintain that. With a treatment free style, I need NUMBERS to continue finding the resistant genes without getting decimated.
 

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Get your numbers up to 25 and you spent 5k last year. What am I missing. I'd like to get up to 25 in the next couple years but 5k. What did you spend this on? If you don't mind me asking.
 

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I have had much better luck using bait hives made from deeps.
2 mediums stacked is about the same to the bees. consider making a BUNCH of mediums to sell and to make splits into(and sell as nucs or complete hives) good luck,mike
 

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Discussion Starter #9
McSpadden,

I don't mind your asking at all. Its what we're here for, lol.

I bought a 20 frame extractor ($1000) and the following list, cut from my excel spreadsheet:

supplies (misc)
supplies (misc)
supplies (misc)
supplies (misc)
supplies (miscI
bees from Geroge (2)
Bees from Dan (4)
Oops paint from Ben Moore
supers assembly (labor)
supers painting (labor)
jars and equipment
Queen Rearing stuff
Kids bee suits
4 Bob Brachman Queens
2 Ray Revis Queens
Electric fencing and Charger
Sugar 30 bags for year
shims, snellgroves, feeder
(2)Mike Palmer nuc system
Beekeeping Conference (year 1)
Bee school (year 3)
queen castle, nucs, ob hive
20 Pollen Patties

Guys, thanks for the advice regarding swarm traps. I'm going to put them in an area where I get a lot of in-house (wall / chimney ) swarm calls. I'll try all these different configurations and see what I end up with. I'm really excited because I'm counting on swarms to be part of the plan for increasing my apiary numbers up to 25 (I started last year with 3, and looks like I'll start this year with about 10 colonies) Each time I catch a swarm I'll order some geographically similar treatment free or survivor genes to replace the swarm queen with (I'm stubbornly Treatment-free) and this will allow me to keep standing on the shoulders of more mature breeding programs to bolster my own.

New few years should be good.

Check out and join our "Bee Buddies" Facebook page if you're interested. A lot of newbies there that could use some advice. Its just another posting board for helping each other out. Largely specific to Central Mass.
 

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WHODOCTOR
"after dropping 5K last year. The bleeding has to stop for a while."

This has been my whole beekeeping experience... Spend, spend, spend. I didn't spend that much though.

I have used wooden nucs which I buy knocked down and use these for swarm traps and swarm captures. If you put some used frames in them, the bees just love them around swarm time! They are so easy to close up and move to the bee yard or home,
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Budster. What % of swarm traps catch swarms for you? How many do you put out over what sized area?

I have decided to go with standard medium super sized traps as some of the posters have suggested. I have some old honey super comb coming from a downsizing beek and I have some old laboratory stuff kicking around that I've converted into free and very simple scent diffusers for LGO.

I'm going to try singles and doubles and see if there is a 'statistically significant' difference in results. I'd prefer to use just one super as its easier, lighter, and less equipment intensive, but I'll try both configurations so I'm not missing out on larger swarms or getting passed over by scout bees looking for larger accommodations.

I'll post my results at the end of the swarm season and see how we made out.

As a side note:

I'm trying to standardize all of my equipment to medium supers only, and resist the temptation to keep trying all of these other sizes and tools that are out there. Its my nature to complicate, and my focus and need to simplify.

I'm going to start selling my deep equipment, the oldest of which is only 3 years old, as nucs and standard sized colonies, starting this year.
 

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Wow. That's a lot of $! I am just beginning my second year, with the two hives I started with. I have spent about $350.
Bees $50 for one hive split into two. I supplied the boxes and a relative sold me the bees.
The rest is mainly frames, plus odds and ends like a mosquito net and a cowboy hat. I also bought some wood and a different relative made my first boxes/lids/bases etc. I have made all the rest of my equipment myself, mostly from scrounged wood.

I have not managed to make a good smoker yet! I use a steel bucket and use it like a smudge pot. It smokes the whole area and keeps the bees quiet. This year I hope to do more splits, and I spent this winter building swarm traps, so hopefully I can expand a bit.
 

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whodoctor, is your equipment 10 or 8 frames? I would stack 2 supers(set frames in the bottom first - drawn comb is better, than tongues), if they are 8 frames, or cut some down to 6 frames and stack 2. Bigger trap can attract bigger swarm, but heavy to toss with residents.
 

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ar1
You sound like me. I did finaly buy a smoker and it is better. I did for the whole summer use one made out of stove pipe. It was ok but bulky.

I put mediums out double stacked and make deeps and put medium frames in them. I drill a hole in them below the 6 and 5/8 mark so that I can cut them down later to medium hive boxes. I have a couple out that are 3 five frame medium nuc size. I hate them because they are hard to handle above my head to to being top heavy. I like the deep boxes best.

Cheers
gww
 

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I use 8 frame Medium Supers with a 4 inch tray attached to the bottom. The entrance hole is placed in the tray, not the super. Adding the tray gets the internal volume at approx. 40 liters. I have had tremendous success with this size trap. Last year I caught 15 swarms using 10 traps in a little over a month. This is a good way to use older, damaged supers

There are several online calculators you can use to calculate volume of your swarm box. I used this one:

http://dmplastics.ca/volume_calculator.htm

Below is an example. I used to have a few with slide block system to close them in after capture, have switched to use the metal entrance disks.

8FramMedTrap.jpg

PAHunter62
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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In order to get an adequate volume with medium boxes you would be too wide to be useful for hanging in a tree, which is the norm for bait hives for me anyway. I would double them up. You could make 8 frame boxes and then screw one by twos on the corners to tie the two boxes together... then I would probably only put frames in the top one. The swarm will start at the top and I would hope to get to it before they drew combs in the bottom. Not saying you couldn't put frames in the bottom as well, but bait hives have a habit of getting knocked down by vandals, disappearing or me forgetting where I left them...
 

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I use 8 frame Medium Supers with a 4 inch tray attached to the bottom. The entrance hole is placed in the tray, not the super. Adding the tray gets the internal volume at approx. 40 liters. I have had tremendous success with this size trap. Last year I caught 15 swarms using 10 traps in a little over a month. This is a good way to use older, damaged supers

There are several online calculators you can use to calculate volume of your swarm box. I used this one:

http://dmplastics.ca/volume_calculator.htm

Below is an example. I used to have a few with slide block system to close them in after capture, have switched to use the metal entrance disks.

View attachment 31198

PAHunter62
That's pretty impressive! What do you put in them when you set them up?

Thanks,
Wally
 

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I was thinking the same thing. Make some custom bottoms with floors and entrances, and stack on a standard medium super on top. When the box gets populated, simply lift it off your stand, bring it to the yard, and add it to a standard bottom board and you are off to the races. I like the one you made. some locating features would be good (if you haven't already put them in there) Its kind of a cartridge system. Once you catch a swarm, move that box off as soon as you can, because another swarm may be on its way.

I've been using 10 frame deeps, but I'm thinking of changing to mediums with custom bottoms.

Cheers, Phil
 

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That's pretty impressive! What do you put in them when you set them up?

Thanks,
Wally
I use lots of foundationless frames in my apiaries. I run all 8 frame mediums. I sort through all my extra comb coming out of winter. If I have lots of drone comb, I cut it out to melt and use these frames in my traps with an old/dark worker comb in the center of the box. When a swarm moves in, they build pretty much all worker comb, because they are looking primarily at expanding. So, I use swarm trapping as a way to convert drone comb into worker comb. I also use lemongrass oil - will staple a section of straw filled with cotton ball to the back of the hive and add a dropper full of lemongrass oil to it. If I don't use the straw method, I just take a Q-Tip and dip it into the lemongrass oil and place into a sandwich baggie folded and drop it on the floor of the trap. I also make a paste wax using beeswax, lemongrass oil, and olive oil. You can follow these instructions from Linda Tillman:

https://plus.google.com/photos/1167...5172532293879188994&oid=116748370159747164350

I smear this paste wax around the entrance hole on the front of the box. I will often drip two full droppers of lemongrass oil onto the underside of the lid. I know these seems like a lot, and it is - but it's cheap and I seem to be catching lots of swarms each year.

When the box gets populated, simply lift it off your stand, bring it to the yard, and add it to a standard bottom board and you are off to the races.

Cheers, Phil
You could do this I guess, but I dedicate my swarm boxes to trapping. I use French cleats on most of them, so I can take my caught swarm down just by lifting it off my bracket, and placing a new trap in its place.

IMG_1942.jpg

I have also made some traps out of plywood, these boxes, I will paint the inside of the boxes with a tincture made from propolis and alcohol. I just save the propolis during the summer from cleaning frame rests, etc. Add it to a jar with 97% alcohol and shake it often. When I make a new plywood trap, I paint the entire inside of the box with this tincture. It gives that nice lived in smell. Once You catch a few swarms , that is not necessary anymore. Example of a plywood box below. I back my truck up to the tree, and place along a gas line of field edge.

IMG_1944.jpg


Although baiting is important, the most important thing is location. I just happen to have a great location and catch 10+ swarms every year on one 70 acre farm. Last spring was a very "swarmy" year. I caught 4 a single tree in my fathers driveway. One time I took a trap down at 10:30pm to move it, hung a new trap, and 1pm the following day another swarm moved in.

This spring, all my hives are going to overwinter (23), so my trapping will be very limited, I will allow them to swarm into the wild. If I want more hives, I can use my own resources.

PAHunter62
 

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I use Jester Bee EZ Nucs (& Swarm Commander) They're $10 each, very lightweight, and far sturdier than the crappy cardboard nucs in supply stores in Los Angeles. Dadant has them or if you need a lot, get them from www.jesterbee.com/EZ-Nuc.html.

I don't work for them, btw, I'm just a big fan.
 
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